Kawartha Lakes Cycling can easily be done as a day trip as Peterborough is only about 1 ½ hour drive from Toronto.
Trent University Accommodation
However many bicycle clubs like to use it as a base for several days staying at Trent University. There is also GO Bus service direct to the campus if anyone if unable to get a ride. This is one of my favorite routes for day riding which I have been doing for years.
Trent University has a lovely setting as it sits on both sides of the Otonabee River with a bridge linking the campus. Starting from the Gzowski College we headed north on the east side of the Otonabee River passing the numerous locks of the Trent-Severn Canal System. It is always interesting watching the various boat (and canoe) traffic along the river and navigating the locks.
The Trent-Severn Waterway Meanders for 386 km from Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay and was originally constructed to supply sufficient water for log drives. Today it is used for recreational boating.
Cycling Along Trent to Young’s Point
We saw lots of other cyclists on this 10 km flat and scenic road. Ignore the parallel trail on your right as the quiet road you are on is much better for road bikes.
We reached the town of Lakefield and took a paved cycle path on the right which you also might want to follow as it provides a nice tour of the town ending up back along the river. Cross the river on Hwy 28 and ride on the paved shoulder or take back streets south a very short distance before turning right on County 18.
We then headed north on a very quiet County Road 28 over rolling hills with views of the very wide river on your right with some nice homes.for about 15 km. Ride through Young’s Point and cross Hwy 28 riding to the locks. Here there are washrooms, a store, picnic tables. One year while enjoying our lunch on the island between the canal the river there was a concert on shore (apparently a popular annual event).
We headed back out the way we came for a few kilometres but this time take right turn and continue on County 20. The section to Selwyn has little traffic but lots of hills, as least they weren’t too steep. After Selwyn on the same road expect more traffic but also splendid view of one of the Kawartha Lakes. Named Chemong you will continue to see the lake as you ride up and down the hills taking the right turn at the T-junction in Bridgenorth.
Bridgenorth is a long as it stretches along the shores of the lake but we need to keep our eyes open for East Communication Road. Turn left onto the road which soon heads across the countryside with numerous rolling hills and fine views. I love this road as it is well paved with little traffic.
We followed this road which changes name several times for about 12 km before turning left on County Road 23 and right on Chemong Road into Lakefield. Now a treat, parking our bicycles in the park we headed across the street to the famous ice cream shop with dozens of flavours. Then it is back along the Trent Canal to the University.
Millbrook Kawarthas Cycling Route
From Trent University we headed south through Peterborough along the Rotary Greenway Trail, the first section along the Otonabee River. Arriving at Rogers Cove Park in the south end of the city we turned right along Ashburnham Drive and left on Base Line taking various county roads but mainly County Road 2 until reaching the pretty town of Millbrook.
In Millbrook we headed to the small pond and mill area for our lunch. After lunch it was up the hill on King Street departing town which changed names to County 21 and Wallace Point Road along the way. We turned left on Bensford Road, right on Otonabee Drive and returned through Peterborough along the Rotary Greenway again.
This is a 65 km loop suitable for moderate cyclists providing a good look at the Kawartha Lakes area.
There are other routes Buckhorn (north), Warsaw (east) which I will talk about in other posts. To view other Ontario cycling routes, click on the link.